Chandigarh/New Delhil/Lucknow: After UP, the Punjab government has also imposed a ban on the release of Prakash Jha's controversial Hindi film 'Aarakshan'(Reservation) in the state following apprehensions that some scenes and dialogues may trigger trouble.

The Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP government said the ban will remain in force till screening committee constituted by the state previews the movie and submits its report.

The decision to ban the Amitabh Bachchan-Saif Ali Khan starrer was taken after receiving intelligence reports that 'Aarakhshan' has certain scenes/dialogues which may inflame the passion of some communities in Punjab, an official spokesman said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Mayawati government had banned the film in UP for two months on the grounds that it could create law and order problem in the state.

The decision to ban the film which is due to hit the screens on Friday was taken following a recommendation by a high level official committee set up by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government.

"The main theme of the movie is about commercialization of education followed by several objectionable dialogues against people from backward communities. There is no discussion on reservation in its second half. We have asked the Censor Board to make necessary changes in it," National Commission for Scheduled Castes Chairman P L Punia said.

The Punjab government has constituted a seven-member committee consisting of Samir Kumar, IAS, Secretary Home, Raj Kumar Atihai, Chairman Safai Karamchari Board, Punjab and Vijay Danav, Chairman, Scheduled Caste Welfare Board and a member of the Punjab Scheduled Caste Commission.

Others on the Committee will be V K Bhawra, Inspector General, Intelligence, Vice Chancellor Punjabi University, Patiala and Vice Chancellor Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar.

The Committee will give its report after viewing the film, the official said.

A nine-member team of the Censor Board had given a U/A certificate to the film without any cuts.

Maya bans Aarakshan for 2 months

The Mayawati government banned the release of Prakash Jha's controversial Hindi film 'Aarakshan'(Reservation) in Uttar Pradesh for two months on the grounds it would create law and order problem in the state.

A decision to ban the film which is due to hit the screens on Friday was taken following a recommendation by a high level official committee set up by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government.

The committee comprising Principal Secretaries of Finance, Information, Higher Education and Rural Development departments and an official of Entertainment tax committee had watched the Amitabh Bachchan-Saif Ali Khan starrer and submitted their report to the state government.

Hours before the UP government imposed the ban, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes asked the Censor Board to make necessary changes in the film before its release, objecting to the "derogatory way" the backward community has been featured in it.

The move by the Commission came after its members watched a special screening in Delhi.

"The main theme of the movie is about commercialization of education followed by several objectionable dialogues against people from backward communities. There is no discussion on reservation in its second half. We have asked the Censor Board to make necessary changes in it," NCSC Chairman P L Punia said in Delhi.

AP bans 'Aarakshan', temporarily

The Andhra Pradesh Government temporarily banned its screening in the state.

The Government in its order said that the film may hurt the sentiments of weaker sections. The film has attracted opposition for its alleged anti-reservation stance.

"In view of the representations received in the matter, as the exhibition of the film is likely to hurt the feelings of weaker sections, lead to protests and agitations, leading to breach of the peace and tranquillity in the State, it is hereby decided to suspend the exhibition of the Hindi film Aarakshan initially for a period of one week, or till a final decision is taken on the report of the Committee constituted for the purpose, whichever is earlier," the order said.

The decision of a temporary ban was taken after the Government received a representation from Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Kulala Shamikshama Sangam, Hyderabad, and Andhra Pradesh Ambedkar Yujuna Sangam, seeking suspension of the exhibition of the film.

The Government had earlier asked the Commissioner, Information and Public Relations, to examine the matter and submit a report. Today's order was issued based on the report.

The Government has constituted a committee which would watch the film and make a report at the earliest.

Bhujbal raises objection

Senior Maharashtra minister and OBC leader Chaggan Bhujbal also voiced objections to certain scenes and dialogues in the film.

"Some scenes and dialogues in the film are objectionable and the film can be released after deleting them," Bhujbal said after a special screening of the film was arranged by Jha in Mumbai.

Dialogues forwarded to Censor Board

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes said it has forwarded to the Censor Board "some objectionable" dialogues from the Amitabh Bachchan-Saif Ali Khan starrer 'Aarakshan', asking it to take take a call on their inclusion.

"We have seen the film. Some dialogues are objectionable. We have forwarded the same to Censor Board. Now it is for the Censor Board to decide," NCSC Chairman P L Punia said.

He said the Commission has no further role in this regard.

Objecting to the "derogatory way" the backward community has been represented in Prakash Jha's 'Aarakshan', the NCSC asked the Censor Board to make necessary changes in the film before its release.

The decision was taken by the NCSC following a special screening of the film here.

A nine-member team of the Censor Board had given a U/A certificate to the film without any cuts.


Politics behind controversy: Saif

Saif Ali Khan, who stars in 'Aarakshan', says people with their own political agendas are fanning controversies over the film, which is about caste-based reservations in education.

 The actor says his own convictions about quotas underwent a complete change while doing the movie. “I am surprised to see people creating so many controversies without even watching the film. By pulling down the film, they just want to gain mileage. Instead of creating awareness and doing something, they are just sensationalising things,' Saif said in an interview from Mumbai.

“Even the Censor Board has cleared the film without any cuts and given it a U/A certificate. Some people have their own political agenda and they try to make things difficult at the last moment. Such people have to be handled carefully,” he added.

Directed by Prakash Jha, 'Aarakshan', scheduled to release Aug 12, also stars Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Manoj Bajpayee and Prateik.

Recently, activists from the Republican Party of India (RPI) attacked Jha's home and office in Mumbai to stall the release of the film. A Dalit group in Patna was upset with the director for casting Saif, who belongs to a former royal family, as a Dalit in the film.

(Agencies)